Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Please Stand By... For a Word From Our Sponsor!

I'm still bogged down with a heavier than usual workload and, thus, cannot devote enough time to one of my more in-depth posts. However, in the meantime, I hope you'll get some degree of pleasure out of this collection of vintage advertisements. People have been bemoaning the fact that this year's Super Bowl commercials weren't up to snuff. I actually don't watch them myself, I DVR everything and speed though commercials. However, I do enjoy looking at the artwork, hair, fashion and, in some cases, beefcake to be found in vintage magazines and catalogs. And, naturally, I also like to see those old Hollywood stars hawking products they may or may not have ever used. I mean, do we really see Boris Karloff chewing away on Tums while working on a movie? Well... maybe... The quote attributed to him here is, “I can scare movie audiences, but it takes Tums to put the chill on acid indigestion. So Tums are always in my pocket – ready to give me almost instant relief, on the set or off.”

Do we think Tony Curtis, man about town, wore bargain Van Heusen shirts? More likely, his face was used as merely a tie-in with the manufacturer in exchange for promoting his most recent film, “All-American” (better known as The All American, released in 1953.)
Deborah Kerr is used in this Lux soap ad as part of a tie-in with An Affair to Remember (1956), but that is not the way her hair looked in the film, nor is that one of the movie's costumes! I do like the way she looks here, though (but what is happening behind her?! The hand!)
Still another tie-in has Joan Collins shilling for Lustre-Creme shampoo as her 1958 film Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! is about to open. I would almost bet my life that this is not even Collins' hair, but one of her many wigs.
Stars frequently were used to sell cigarettes. Here, we have an ad that's boasting six different performers, each one proclaiming the attributes of Camel brand. Poor Tyrone Power dropped of a heart attack at only forty-eight and Jane Greer died of cancer, but the others were taken by other causes (except opera singer Patrice Munsel who is still kicking today at age eighty-seven!)
This grocery shopper is one lucky chick! She's got cart full of Del Monte canned vegetables and a posse of protectors that includes, (clockwise from the top left) Lorne Greene and Michael Landon (of Bonanza), Doug McClure of The Virginian and John Smith of Laramie. (For some reason, McClure, though clearly in his western garb, is credited on the page as being from his series Checkmate, an elegant spy show!)
It was nice of (Mrs. John Gavin) Constance Towers to finally crack a smile by the third photo in this slender ad for dress sewing patterns!
When this ad was published, the model's name wasn't even used and the emphasis was on the hairdresser (named Enrico Caruso, but not to be confused with the legendary opera singer!) The model, however, went on to a highly successful film and television career. Yes, this is Miss Candice Bergen during her career as a model.
This product pusher was already a household name and the ad serves as another tie-in. Raquel Welch was about to debut her very expensive 1970 TV special Raquel!, which paired her with Bob Hope, Tom Jones and John Wayne. I love her hair here, of course, and look at how contorted the poor dear had to get in order to show off all the various Coke products she was hawking in the ad!
Do not ask me to believe that Louis Jourdan, one of the most elegant, gentlemanly actors ever (who was noted for stirring soft drinks with a spoon before drinking them in order to cut down on the “gas”) would hunker down with a half gallon of ice cream and eat it out of the tub with a spoon! Ha!
Now I feel certain that Mr. Johnny Carson used this product because it's his own clothing line! He probably duded himself out in these items (including those eensy-teensy tennis shorts!) if for no other reason than the fact that he got to keep examples of the clothing for free.
The whole point of these next two ads is to suggest that Sears appliances are so great that movie stars will buy and use them, even though they aren't that expensive! First up is Miss Anne Baxter singing the praises of her Coldspot refrigerator.
Next we see Jane Wyatt (best known as one of TV's all-time famous mothers in Father Knows Best) in a two-page spread espousing her affection for Kenmore washer and dryer.
It's not such a big stretch to imagine movie stars actually using a product when that said product is alcohol! Ha ha! Here, we see comedic actor Phil Silvers in a Smirnoff vodka ad. Needless to say, I love the hairstyles of his three Grecian-esque female companions!
And from the looks of things by this late date, once-lean Tarzan Johnny Weissmuller does indeed like to take in a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer or three.
Moss Hart, the director of Camelot, brings a passel of the cast together (including Sir Lancelot, Robert Goulet) for a Smirnoff Vodka ad.
What about 007 star Sean Connery (about to open in 1967's You Only Live Twice) selling bourbon whiskey?! We thought James Bond was more of a martini man, shaken and not stirred...
The ne plus ultra of liquor ads in my book, however, stem from Heublein Cocktails. In the 1960s, the company (which put forth a variety of premixed bottled alcoholic drinks) ran ad after ad of glamorous, sophisticated-looking actors promoting the successful brand. What the ads were really selling, though, were an image and a lifestyle. Take a look and you'll see what I mean! (A framed grouping of some of these would probably make a neat bit of decor in a lounge or bar area, I would think.)

We have singer-actor Tony Martin (and the husband of Cyd Charisse)...

TV's Peter Gunn (and husband of Alexis Smith) Craig Stevens...
Always-refined actor James Mason...
Cool and collected (until booze and depression sadly got the better of him) Gig Young...
Rat Pack member Peter Lawford...
An unexpectedly spiffy Jack Palance...
Famed horror film star and art connoisseur Vincent Price (along with victorious jockey Billy Pearson)...
Classy actor Walter Pidgeon...
My very own personal favorite, the hunky Hugh O'Brien...
Again, we have Broadway star and recording artist Robert Goulet, switching brands (though Smirnoff was owned by Heublein at the time, too)...
And here is Mr. Goulet again, this time with with Carol Lawrence along for the (often unhappy) ride. (If you ever read her autobiography, you'll never think of Goulet the same way again, let me tell you!)
Sometimes, as above and here, women were featured in the ads as well, though it was more rare. Here, we see Gypsy Rose Lee, the inspiration for the Broadway show and movie Gypsy...

...and Miss Broadway herself, Miss Angela Lansbury, in full-on Mame mode.
I have no idea who these people below are, but the styling was so interesting that I had to include them as well!
I often find wigs ads to be amusing. This one of from Frederick's of Hollywood. Each one comes with a head form, too! Just try to get that sort of perk when ordering a wig online today... (and, no, I haven't done so!)
This collage of heads and hairstyles is patently bizarre looking.
Here's a wraparound cover from a wig manual!
Eva Gabor became a fixture in the wig business, but Arlene Dahl was in there swinging, too! God, how I hate that brunette one at bottom right...
We're back at Sears again for a selection of rather wretched coiffure confections. What is that mess at the top of the page! The middle girl is model-turned-actress Susan Blakely, later famous in The Towering Inferno (1974) and the landmark 1976 miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man.
We know you want more of Susan, so here is a selection of mostly hideous hairstyles (wigs?) that someone inflicted on her for the purposes of advertising.
This is one of my all-time least favorite hairstyles (but don't tell Toni Tennille or Inga Swenson!) Interestingly, this brand is from Japan, where presumably black or dark brown tended to be a more popular color selection of this vomitous style.

Swimwear is another source of eye-catching ads. Check out this Jantzen advertisement for a reversible men's swim trunk! They only came in sizes 28 to 36, so chubbies can forget it, I presume!
I LLLOOOOVVVEE this ad featuring hockey star Bobby Hull. Those truly were the days....
I have a selection of Jantzen ads in this post which feature the delectable Frank Gifford in his prime if you are interested. As the years went on, one could still find beefcake in Jantzen's advertisements, but somehow it just isn't the same...
Underwear ads often used illustrations instead of models, sometimes with amusing unintentional homoerotic undertones such as in this one:
Or corny (and still a bit homoerotic) like this one:
When humans were used, they tended to look very sterile and, um, smooth downstairs...
This changed quite a bit in the 1970s and '80s. As seen in this post, I have some great shots of Jim Palmer wearing a variety of Jockey briefs! I love this cowpoke shown below, shaving in his BVDs.
By the time of this Fruit of the Loom ad below, the rounded bulge had in some cases given way to more graphic depiction. (If you look at this photo closely, you can basically see through these briefs.)
This ad for jock straps ingeniously places the disembodied product in a box over the crotch of the model, but it's still a captivating shot because he's very hunky and ostensibly nude behind the box.
We're gonna wrap up this little excursion into the world of advertisements with a look at some towel ads. Many of you may be familiar with the wartime Cannon Towel ads which featured illustrations of U.S. servicemen undergoing bath time in a variety of locales. These ads were just great, featuring scantily-clad soldiers enjoying innocent camaraderie together. The ads were based on supposedly true stories of men in the field like this one in Ceylon...
Or this one in the Solomon Islands...
This young man is getting doused while up in Alaska...
We get more and more revealing as we head to the Mediterranean...
Oh for a ride in this canoe down in Buna (Africa?)
And this one from the South Pacific is, of course, my very favorite...
For the longest time, I swore that there were more than these six, though they remain a famous sextet of commercial artwork with the same theme. However, I just couldn't get out of my mind the image of one that took place on the deck of a ship, with sailors taking a bath in a makeshift tub created with a huge tarp and a hose. Well, as it turns out, that memory was actually from an even older ad, a WWI ad for Ivory soap! Fun!

The Ivory ad above, and this next one, were published in National Geographic Magazine. And here we thought the only skin in that publication belonged to topless native women! I hope you enjoyed these and I'll be back again soon!

9 comments:

joel65913 said...

Those wigs ads are something else. It's amazing how they could make a girl as attractive as Susan Blakely was when she was young and make her look terrible in all but the last of those 9 pictures.

NotFelixUnger said...

Loving it! Underwear ads was what I lived for back in the day, circa 1979/1980. [AD, of course.] You're right, crotches aren't what they used to be. Some of these underwear ads are incredible. Bobby Hull?? Never heard of him till now, but I def want his number.

Did anyone else catch the caption, "Beaunit stretches for bird watchers?" [big sigh]

Jim Palmer is still my favorite though. Yes, I've read the posts and have seen the pictures. I may have even saved some of them to my desk top. [I really can't remember.]

As much as I love Jim Palmer, there's a special place in my heart for Steve Garvey. He did Jockey shots before JP, but they are quite tame in comparison. Still, he outdoes JP in the mega-chest and arm department.

dcolp said...

I thought you and your other readers would enjoy watching this promotion for 1965 Chevrolet cars with the casts of "Bonanza," "Bewitched," and "The Man from Uncle." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W7XEjUIhmA

Poseidon3 said...

Thank you, dcolp! That was crazy! "Now let's see Mike Landon's surprise..." Oh, LET'S!

NotFelixUnger said...

Thanks dcolp! I just watched that and passed the link on too.

Gingerguy said...

Awesome post. I just bought the wig book that's the wraparound color. And read this old post today, what a coincidence! The book is amazing, it walks you through styling a wig and wiglet. I now understand Elke Sommer's hairdos.

Poseidon3 said...

That IS a coincidence! I'm glad to know that a copy of that book is in good hands and being curated instead of thrown out by some unthinking person...! :-) (My house is full of books I bought because I felt like I had to "rescue" them!)

Unknown said...

I can clear up the mystery of the Del Monte ad crediting Doug McClure to Checkmate instead of a western.Actually Dougs first starring series was a show called Overland Trail starring William Bendix for NBC.Note that all the actors here were in NBC westerns.Overland Trail wasnt very successful only running a short three months and Doug moved straight in into Checkmate.Most likely the photo was made while Mr McClure was in OT but not released till a year later.

Poseidon3 said...

Ah, that does make sense, Unknown. He did Overland Trail in the early part of 1960 and was in Checkmate by the fall for the new season, by which time the western was but a memory. Thanks!!